Robin ended the call and put his phone into his tuxedo jacket pocket. He looked towards the far side of town. “I’m comin’, ‘sellta.”
He ignored the traffic lights and the flow of the cars.
“There was one more thing I wanted to…Well.” John reached into his suit jacket pocket and pulled out an envelope. “Here.” He handed it to Barbara.
Ambrose leaned in as Barbara opened it. “What is…”
Her mouth dropped open. “Tickets to…” She looked up at her dad. “Oh!”
“Do you mind? I hadn’t heard you or Ambrose talking about honeymoon locations. I mean, not that I—-”
She hugged him. “Oh, Dad! Thank you so much!”
He returned the hug. “I wanted to do something so much bigger and—”
“No. No, Dad. This is perfect. I’ve always wanted to go to Florida.”
“Thank you.” Ambrose said. “When do we go?”
“I figured that…well. I didn’t want you two to feel like you had to rush out of your own reception. That would be plenty awkward. It’s set for tomorrow night.” He smiled at her. “You really like it?”
“Clarice had helped me with so many details for your wedding, which I appreciate. Don’t get me wrong. I loved having her help me out. I needed her to help me out. But I wanted. I wanted this to come from just me.”
“You don’t need to explain, Dad. I love it.”
John looked over at Ambrose. “Are you okay with travelling on a plane? That was the one detail I wasn’t so sure about. I mean, it isn’t impossible to drive to Florida, but.” He shrugged. “You are a vampire. That would make things a little difficult.”
“I’ll be fine, sir. I mean, John. I’ll be fine. I’ll have Barbara with me. She’ll hold my hand if I get too tense.”
“And I’ll sing in your ear.” she said.
Ambrose gazed lovingly into her eyes. “Just touch me. That will be enough.”
Sarah took the swan couple out of the box again and admired it. No matter which way she turned it, no matter how she held it, the swans sparkled beautifully.
She wondered if there were a way to make a dress like that. The person wearing it would need underwear, obviously. But they would need to wear something else. Otherwise, all of that bare skin would be magnified, like a cherry in a water glass.
But how would they be able to move in it? The dress would be terribly stiff. How would they sit? These were very good questions and there didn’t seem to be any good answers.
Sarah sat up straighter and craned her neck to catch a glance of Ambrose. She knew that he was sitting at the table all the way over there, but it would have been nice to see what he was doing and who he was talking to. He was probably talking to Barbara.
That was the obvious answer. And it was an answer she completely approved of.
She carefully set the swan couple into the box and tied up the ribbon. How much longer was Ambrose going to stay at this party? It was a party for him and Barbara. So, he couldn’t just up and leave whenever he felt like it. Even Sarah knew that much. But it felt like it was getting late. Her eyes glazed over. The strings of fairy lights blurred into haloed blobs. Her thoughts drifted to pillows and beds and blankets.
Sarah picked up the laser-cut box and stood. She had no intention of falling asleep in public. She walked straight to Ambrose’s table.
Ambrose smiled at her. “Well. Don’t you look pretty? I’m sorry I haven’t had much of a chance to talk to you.”
Sarah grinned. She pointed at Ambrose, drew a circle around him, and blew him a kiss.
He laughed. “So, you think I look pretty too?”
She nodded emphatically.
“You’d better be careful. You might make Barbara jealous.”
Sarah yawned – a large, open-mouthed yawn.
John stood. “Don’t worry. I’ll take you home.”
Sarah frowned. He wasn’t the one she wanted to go home with. Why didn’t these adults understand something so ridiculously obvious?
She yawned again. This time it was a genuine yawn.
Sarah decided not to argue the point this time around. She marched around to the other side of the table and tugged John’s sleeve. She pointed at herself, at him, and at the door.
“You. Me. Door. You want to leave?”
She eye-rolled at that.
“All right. You can come home with me and then we’ll talk to Jeff in the morning. See where he wants you to stay. Okay?”
She nodded and took his hand.
Ambrose got out of his chair and walked over to her. He went down on one knee. “I just want you to know that Barbara and I are going to go out of town for a few days. Just me and her. We will come back.” He smiled. “And I will read the rest of Phantom of the Opera to you.”
She gasped soundlessly and threw her arms around his neck.